Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#ChooseJoy #Joygivers365 Week 28- Mouser and a Toilet in the Front Yard



As told by Facebook Status Updates





I'm not sure what I'm going to do when these are successful.




How I sit to watch tv when there are mice on the loose.












Reasons why my mom is the BEST mom in the entire world. Man do I love her!!!


Charity Hendress
Infestation Update: After a night filled with very little sleep, I put on closed toed shoes (while wishing my snow boots weren't packed away) grabbed my broom and dustpan and mustered up the nerve to go in the kitchen and see what awaited me in the traps.

Nothing. No success trapping the little buggers. 

Found two droppings on the counter so they were out.

Today I am putting out poison, more mouse traps, and we sealed up an area that they might have been getting in outside. Mom blessedly brought me the grabber thingy (pictured in previous post) so when I do catch them I will not have to touch or get close!!

Your time is coming little mousies.. Don't get too comfortable here. Prepare to meet your maker!!!!!


Charity Hendress
Today is going from bad to worse.

My toilet overflowed after I took a shower this afternoon. Landlord and worker are here now, and he just blew the seal on the bottom of the toilet so my bathroom is flooded for the 2'nd time today.

If y'all could pray that they could successfully fix my toilet and shower TONIGHT, I would greatly appreciate it!

(My toilet has been bubbling when I shower, and when i wash my laundry. Shower has filled up with water and yucky stuff when I've done laundry this week)

Charity Hendress

I have become the person that I used to take pictures of and mock.#notoiletisntfunny #peeinginthefrontyard #justkiddingdad















Charity Hendress

The screams and shrieks all of the United States of America just heard were from the stupid mouse running across my kitchen floor, up to my long counter, and then along my long counter. I started to type this update and it came out again. Sweet Nibbletts I can't take this!!!!!




The mouse ATE the pb on the trap and the trap did not go off!!!!

Hoping he ate some poison otherwise I am doomed.









Oh mouser! Your dinner is ready! Specially made pb with some yummy crushed up poison!









Charity Hendress
This Old House Update:

After 18+hours of no toilet, the Plumber successfully cleared the block yesterday!! I could have hugged him. And can I just say that I hate how McDonalds only has air dryers to dry your hands instead of towels.

The Mouser, yes, I named him, is still alive. Somehow he is eluding my traps. Tonight I made a delicious dinner of mixed peanut butter and crushed up poison which he will hopefully eat.

Thankfully I have not seen him in person since Friday night. This could partially be because every time i enter the kitchen I announce myself, and carry on a loud conversation with him.

I am thankful that I am in a house now, and not sharing apt walls with anyone to hear my conversations with Mouser.









Charity Hendress


Update:

Mouser ate ALL of the poison pb!!!!!

Today is a GOOD 
DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mouser:0 Cherrybear:10






And then finally, one week after I discovered his presence...






I GOT THE MOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

And because I am very proud of myself, I must share HOW i found and disposed of him.

Earlier in the morning I had heard a rustling noise. I knew it was Mouser but was unsure of where he was. He has only been in the kitchen and going back and forth between the furnace room (which the wall is open to under my kitchen sink) and the laundry room. Furthermore, I hadn't heard rustling from him before. I wasn't quite sure what he was in to. I looked around before my shower and couldn't find him. So I took a very quick shower, with my 3 ft grabber thingy right beside me in case he tried to attack while I was bathing.

After I got ready I didn't heard anything, and sat down on my couch to watch some tv before my first student of the day arrived.

And then I heard it. More Rustling. I grabbed my grabber and went off to investigate. Nothing in the laundry room, but wait. The sound was coming from the PIANO ROOM. Horror, fear and a mix of nausea are in my heart. I had a bad feeling that I knew exactly where he was in the Piano room. Rustling could only come from the trash can (which was empty btw) I tip toed in there, peeked in, and saw a dark blob in the can. Could that be? yes, yes it is. Mouser was IN My trash can!! I shrieked like a little girl!

I knew I had to get him out of the house and FAST, before he climbed out of the can, I ran into my living room and unlocked my door quickly, ran back into the piano room and stood as far away as possible while I used my grabber to grab hold of the trash can. Once I had it, I ran (also like a little girl) outside and along my truck to the city trash can opened it and threw the  mouse, and my little trash can all in. I slammed the lid down and made sure it was nice and secure. My hands and whole body were shaking and my heart was racing so fast I felt like I had ran a marathon. I couldn't believe that stupid mouse had been in my trash can!

I'm assuming that he couldn't get out, since he was in there for so long and just sat there when i was shrieking and transporting him. He had eaten a HUGE amount of the poison I left out for him on Sunday night, and kept snacking on the loose poison that has still been out. SO I think he was not feeling so well. 

I am BEYOND relieved to have him out of my house! I am hoping there are no others, but if there are they will be dying soon as well since all the mouse poop i've seen has been D-Con Green. Gross, I know.

I had told myself I was going to #ChooseJoy when he died and the horrible stench came to my house. I am very relieved that God blessed me with not having to smell that!

I hate mice. HATE them. They scare me for some unknown reason and I just feel sick when I see, hear, think of one. Having a mouse take over my kitchen and feel like it was taking over my house this past week has been terrible.  I didn't think I'd be able to handle it but I did! All Thanks and Glory goes to God! He cares about everything, even my silly fear of mice!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#ChooseJoy #JoyGivers365 Weeks 26 & 27 Twanda hitches a ride in the Uhaul


When you think about Joy filled events moving is not at the top of the list.

If it is, we should talk, because you're clearly doing something that I am not!

Just like finding a home, moving day was full of unexpected frustrations. Here I am sitting on my couch blissfully unaware of what the day would bring. 



 And here Jboz and I are just a few hours later.

Needless to say, things did not go smoothly as we had planned. There was not much Joy going on, just a whole lot of Twanda waiting to be unleashed. It was a long, hot, long, sweaty, hot, long day.

Because I am crazy, I had to teach two piano lessons that evening. With no shower, having moved in 95 degree heat. My students didn't care, and when they both came to their lessons and I shut the door to my brand new beautiful studio, the one room that was completely ready I felt like I could breathe again. During both of their lessons I tuned out the outside world and just focused on my students and the music we were creating. I turned out to be so thankful that I had kept those lessons that night. They were able to take my focus off my frustration and annoyance, and despite being worried the piano would not arrive at my new house in time for the first lesson, it turned out being the best part of the day. So I'm choosing to focus on that and the joy those two students brought to me. I don't think many people would say that their jobs would bring them joy after a long hard day like moving day, but it truely did!





Sunday morning I missed church because I was waiting on the tiling guy to come and work on my shower, that evening we were having our first night of worship at my churches campus in my town. I wasn't going to go since I hadn't been able to shower and felt funky, but at the last minute i decided to straighten my hair and spray on lots of perfume :) It was SUCH a blessing!  I had the BEST time worshipping God, singing, trying to get my groove on (this white girl can't dance) and talking and laughing with my friends afterwards. We literally shut the church down and it was a wonderful evening.


Monday morning after another handyman visit my shower was finally finished and for the first time in 4 days i showered in my own home. GLORIOUS!!!!!


 Not to be left out, my aching hips and I took a trip to the chiropractor. It was delightful! And suddenly I was able to walk without limping and looking like my age is close to Methuselah.  (Which FYI, is totally in the dictionary and just came up on auto correct. We all know there was no way I could spell that correctly!!)

Looking back I can be thankful for the good things that happened.
Like...

Em, Madi, and Jboz being so giving of their time and energy to help me move.

Jboz letting me shower at her house on Saturday. I stayed in for so long my fingers were pruney!

My Parents, oh my parents. Both of them worked their bottoms off, lost blood, and gained pain and injuries just to help. I really can't find any words adequate to explain how much they did and how grateful I am to them!

Being much more physically stronger this time around, I was a BEAST, especially unloading the Uhaul. Being in better shape and actually having some muscles, not to mention the weight I have lost in the past year definitely made a huge impact!

I am thankful that we mostly survived the heat

Right after we finished unloading the Uhaul, after being outside waiting for an hour in the hot sun, and then killing ourselves to unload as quickly as possible, the high temperatures and lack of water got to me and I had a dizzy spell. Thankfully I was able to go inside (although the AC wasn't on) and by the Grace of God we had unloaded a fan as one of the last items. 5 minutes of laying on the floor with the fan on my face and I recovered. 

(My Mom told me later that we almost killed her unloading the Uhaul. We probably should have taken a break at some point but we were on a roll!)

After the unloading we took a break and ate lunch and then poor Jboz felt the after effects of the heat. Thankfully she managed not to toss her cookies, and I decided it was a great time to drive back to the new place with our vehicles and their blessed and wonderful air conditioning. It did the trick and she was back to normal!

So very thankful that those two instances were it for our heat issues and that some cool air and water were all we needed!

Despite it being stressful, looking back now I can see that God did provide in so many ways for us. My challenge to myself is next time I am in a stressful situation and feel overwhelmed and to my breaking point, to not think about what is making me feel that way but to actively look for the gifts God has given me in those circumstances. I wish I had done that during moving and the days after, my attitude would have been so much more pleasant! ;)



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#ChooseJoy #JoyGivers365 Weeks 23, 24, 25

It's been a roller coaster few weeks (months). Around April i.e. the day my new neighbors moved in. I knew that I did not want to renew my lease when it was up at the end of June. Other neighbors and different situations at my complex reinforced this idea. When I got the paperwork to renew my lease (they automatically send it) and found out that not only was my rent going up but they were adding other charges as well, I knew for sure that I would not be staying at my current location.

For a long time I have longed for a house. For a girl that grew up on a farm, town life and especially apartment life, sharing walls with your neighbors, is just not for me. I crave peace and quiet. And not having to run my fan on high year round just to be able to sleep without hearing my neighbor snore. #iwishiwasjoking

When I began to look I was determined that I would NOT freak out and trust God through this process. So I began to put feelers out and look on craigslist a few times a week to see if i could find something acceptable. Unfortunately everything I found was either way out of my price range, or looked like a place where you would partake in illegal activities. Neither of which I was going for!

In the midst of this I got terribly sick, so searching was the last thing on my mind.

Once I came back from my parents and tried to get back to life, while still not feeling well, the search was on. I faced the same struggle as before.  Time started getting closer and closer to when I needed to move and I had nowhere to go. I was stressed.

Wednesday, June 11'th dawned and I was feeling sick and miserable. I hit my breaking point. I called my Mom and broke down on the phone to her. I didn't know why I was still feeling terrible nor where I would go in just two short weeks. Or if I would even be well enough to move myself. She tried to calm me down and I got off the phone and laid on my couch and just prayed.

A little bit later I decided to hop onto craigslist again and search. Lo and behold I found a house that was in my area and was UNDER my budget. It didn't have pictures but by this point I was beyond desperate so I clicked the contact button to send an email. If you're not familiar with Craigslist, sometimes it has the person's name and phone number other times it's an anonymous email. This time it happened to have a name. And I recognized that name! It was that of a man who goes to my old church. While I didn't know him personally we had mutual friends. A slight glimmer of hope began to arise in me. I quickly shot him off an email and mentioned my former church. 

Long story short, he called me right back and we talked for 20 mins, setting up a time to meet on Friday morning after my Dr's apt to see a different house which he thought would be a better fit for me.

It was.

I saw the house and fell in love!!

It is completely remodeled on the inside and super super nice. Way nicer than I thought I could have on my budget. As I was walking around inside looking at this adorable house, I kept thinking of Ephesians 3:20 which has been my verse of the year.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Eph 3:20

Not only is the house nicer than I could have imagined it's also, wait for it, UNDER Budget!!  Only God could do something like that!

And for this country girl, stuck in town, it has a nice backyard, which butts up to a railroad track, and behind that.. Is nothing. No neighbors, no buildings. Just grass. Beautiful. So I can go in my backyard, and sit on my back porch area and not see anyone. I cannot wait! I allready have great dreams of getting a porch swing and spending my free time outside swinging and reading.

Other things that are clearly from God, just for me:

An ice maker.

Yes, seriously. I love ice and hate having to do ice trays. I may or may not have jumped for joy and squealed when I saw the ice maker.

And not to be left out,

My mailbox is right by my front door. I can just stick my arm outside to get my mail. No more having to get in my truck and drive across the complex to go to the mail hub to get mail, and risk life and limb during the winter months when it's covered with ice and snow. 

There is one more tiny detail that I haven't mentioned.

I'm going to own this house.

In a year!

I'm doing a rent to own program, and if all goes well and I decide this is where I want to stay, in a year this house will be mine!

If you had told me a year ago or even a month ago that I would be looking at buying a house I would say there is no way! How could I do that?! #OnlyGod

I'm so excited and counting down the days until I can move into my first home!!!!! My parents are thrilled at the thought of me buying something and not having to move me for a long time. :)

I'm still in awe of how God worked this out. When I hit my breaking point I kept reminding myself of my Dad's favorite verse.

Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?
Matthew 6:26


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Life Lately according to my phone

 I am still not feeling well, but have had a few days in the past 3 weeks where I have survived through the day and felt like a member of society. i.e. showered. Pictured above I was excited to sport my super cute treble clef necklace that one of my students made me for christmas!
 The rest of the outfit, I texted my skirt to Audra and told her I felt like a Duggar :) But I did feel cute! I suppose it helps that my skirt is TWO SIZES smaller than what I was wearing this time last year!! BOOYAH!!!
 On that same day I ran out to Target, of which I had not been to in months. Months people! It was a tragedy! I enjoyed walking around and browsing and found these ADORABLE purses! The pink one was actually so bright I thought it was maybe a bit much. I'm stalking the mint purse and as soon as it's 75% off it will be mine!!
 In preparation for my upcoming move I have been cleaning out! I loaded up my truck with bags for Goodwill and was very excited to find out you can get boxes at Goodwill to pack with! I should have probably taken a picture of myself BEFORE pulling up to the donation area (below) as the two older gentleman workers were standing there totally waitng for me to get done taking my picture. #awkwardsauce

 I was excited for a day of teaching! My parents were in Iowa visiting Snugglemuffin (and his parents) so my Mom was sending me picture texts of what they were doing. Of course I had to send pics back to my buddy! Later on that evening I skyped with him, apparently everytime Nana had her tablet out, he would go over and say "Can we Skype with Auntie Charity?!" so precious!! Anyways, when we skyped that night, I was sitting on my couch, and he asked me if I was done with Piano! He is so smart!! I love that he knows that's what I do!!
File this one under #thingsyoudoforyournephew he was making silly faces and having Nana take his picture and send it to me, so of course i had to send some back! You would not believe how many pictures I had to take to get a non creepy "silly" face. Apparently silly faces are alot cuter on 3 year olds than 32 yr olds...
 The next night ( I was on a roll of feeling better for 4 days!!!!) I had a concert at one of the nursing homes I frequent. I had to go with this flowy sleeveless dress as it's usually toasty warm in this facility and it was already hot outside. I was glad I had worn it, especially when I discovered the HEATER right next to the piano.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

#ChooseJoy #JoyGivers365 Weeks 16-22

I was all set to write up a post-Easter blog about choosing joy over the first Holiday without my Grams and how emotional it was to realize she was in Heaven with Jesus celebrating his Death and Resurrection IN PERSON.

And then... I injured my upper back and neck.

And I still have no clue how.

What I do know is that for 2 1/2 weeks I suffered from worse than ever before migraines and terrible back pain.

I practically lived at my chiropractors. No joke. I would have slept there if they had let me.

After my last apt (of 7930487930742) I felt good! 

For about a day.

And then I got the Stomach Flu.

(Or so I thought)

It was terrible.

After 2 days barfing, fever, and dizziness, I thought I was getting better.

And then it came back.

Worse than before.

Way worse.

And then I got to ride in an Ambulance to the emergency room.

That was fun.

I think. 

I don't really know, as I passed out during part of it.

The Dr told me I had at least 4 more days of the sickness. 

I wanted to punch him.

I would have if I could have moved at all without throwing up.

I spent the next week+ at my parents trying to fight off my sickness and then recover.

It was not fun. To say the least.

I distinctly remember laying on my parents couch on a Sunday afternoon.  Being on day 6 of vomiting, trying so desperately not to throw up, with a fan hurricane blast on my face, and quite frankly smelling a bit, ok alot, because I had been too sick and weak to shower for days.( Yes, days. ) I thought to myself "God, I REAALLYY don't know how i'm going to choose joy over this! I am done! I can't handle anymore! MAKE.THIS.STOP!" (spoiler-he didn't)

I couldn't think of one good or joyful thing about the whole nightmare.

Until I thought...

"Well, at least I'm losing weight"

Granted, I would have rather stuck to the healthier eating plan I had adapted in my life than to the barfing my guts out diet plan, but it was the best I could come up with at the moment!

It's been about 3 weeks since I got sick and I am still not back to my normal self. Applesauce and Saltines are still on the daily menu, and I am get tired very easily. It's taking awhile to build back up my strength and stomach very much solid food.

But through this all, there is joy to be found. I'm grateful, SO grateful, that my parents were able to take me home and take care of me. I'm even more joyful that God protected them from this illness.

I choose joy that even though I deal with a chronic health condition and got this crazy viral infection from who knows where, that it could be worse. It could be much worse. Even though the past month has been horrible, it's been one month. Some people spend entire years, lifetimes, feeling as bad as I did in one month. Having loved ones who have suffered from cancer, I have seen it first hand.

So while I still struggle to regain my strength and feel good, I choose joy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#ChooseJoy #JoyGivers365 Weeks 14 & 15 Touch Someone's Life

Sunday afternoon I was going through some things of my Grams that my Mom had brought for me. As I was picking items up from the box I noticed a few envelopes. Looking closer, I instantly knew what they were and my eyes started welling up with tears. 

Last year, after we found out her cancer was back, Grams had surgery right before our birthdays. We had hoped she would be out of the hospital and at my brother's by her birthday but the surgery was much more intensive than any of us knew.

Mom, My SIL, and I tried to organize a card shower for her, to encourage her and let her know that people were praying for her. I got on facebook and sent a message to some of my friends who have kids (some of whom I teach Piano to) and asked if they would be willing to draw her a picture or send her something. I remember being surprised at how excited everyone was to help. They were touched that I had reached out and asked them and were excited to help cheer her up.

Months later, when my Grams finally made it back to Indiana and I was able to see her, she told me all about the wonderful mail she had received from my friends and students.  She was so tickled by some of them, and was proud that I had such nice friends who loved me, and also thru me, her. It really meant a lot to her.

So much that she kept them.

When I opened up that box this afternoon I found three different envelopes of the sweetest, and cutest little cards and notes and pictures, notes written by the adults with prayers and scripture verses.

I read them with tears rolling down my cheeks. 



I know I talk about being a JoyGiver and how it doesn't take much and one small act of kindness can change someone's day. It didn't take much for those people to write a little note, and the kids to draw a little picture, a stamp and an address and off it went to another state to encourage someone who was going through a dark time.

I know they probably forgot about the cards, but she didn't. She kept them and would look at them often. And now, over a year later, as I deal with her death, those same cards are encouraging me. Knowing that people took time out of their busy lives to send something nice to someone they didn't know, just because their friend asked. Knowing how much it meant to her to get all of those handmade cards and drawings. She felt loved.

It doesn't take much to impact someone's life. Those cards meant so much to her, and seeing that and knowing that it made her smile, means so much to me.



Pastor Steve was speaking at church today about how we all have something to give. Whether big or small we all are equipped to help people. Will we do it? Or will we have an excuse that it takes too much time, or you're tired tonight, or you don't know that person and you would feel silly. We all have excuses. And we're great at coming up with an excuse to justify not doing something that makes us uncomfortable! But think about the benefits. What if you could touch someone's life? What if you could not only touch someone's life for a moment, but over a year later, your kindness is still impacting others? 

What is holding you back from going and doing God's will?!

Be a #JoyGiver.

Even when you're tired.

Even when it's awkward.

We're all awkward.

Awkward is normal.

Be Awkward.

Be a #JoyGiver and mean something to someone.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

That's how we do it round here...

 Brace yourself for a month+ of random pics!

Here I am on on of the warmer days of the year. I think it hit 39 and we were all ecstatic!
 Home for my Grams Memorial Service, Snugglemuffin and I entertained ourselves with Table Buddy pics while waiting on dinner. That kid is soooooooo related to me!
 After I got back to town, my apt community was.everywhere. Getting ready for a huge inspection and doing all kinds of work to the property. Everywhere I went there were workers. I was in my pj's one day and walked into my studio to see legs on my back patio. (They were replacing my storage shed door) On this day they were putting dirt out and various other landscaping items.
 I was sitting at my desk trying to have a quick bite of cheese before my next round of students came and there they were. There were men walking to, but it was hard to get a picture of them without them realizing it.
 A win day for me! I finally fit into a shirt and pants that I have had for a long time, but never worn! YEAH!!!!
 Crystal Light Pink Lemonade is the bomb.dot.com with frozen strawberries!!
 Yesterday it was rainy, but I was feelin the spring and obviously feeling my new favorite color of green!
 My hair was looking quite curly as well, thanks to the rain!
 One of my students lost her Grandpa the same day as my Grams. It's bonded us. Their family sent me a sympathy card and she wrote this to me and drew pics of them as angels. I cried. Such a sweet girl.
 We go a little crazy over spring around here, after having 60+ inches of snow this winter. Matching my pants to my sonic happy hour drink? But, of course! And no, it wasn't even Pink Weds!
 Same day. Windows open!  It's currently about 48-50 degrees and they are slightly cracked open. I need fresh air!!
 Last Saturday I took a group of students with me to a nursing home I visit and we put on an  Evening of Music. It was awesome!! Here's my outfit before and my very nervous face!
 I have all of my Grams rings and wanted to wear some that evening to bring a piece of her with me. She would have loved it, and been so proud.
 One of my students brought me a bouquet of flowers at the concert! I was SO surprised! They are so pretty and a week later, still alive and thriving! And yes, I am laying down in this pic. I had to wear shoes, obviously, and my foot was crazy swollen. (I broke my toe and injured the top of my foot.( #graceful)
 On Monday, I got new neighbors. I also said goodbye to my 2'nd slot parking space. On Tuesday I started my 30 day no complaining challenge so this blog post ends here. :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

#ChooseJoy #Joygivers365 Weeks 12 & 13 Cut the Crankiness- 30 day NO COMPLAINING Challenge!

So I've had a rough month. Or really, a rough two months. I have been sick almost non stop since the beginning of February. I'm on my 4'th round of antibiotics for a sinus infection that.just.keeps.coming.back. I've had the stomach flu, and managed to not only break one of my toes but injure the top of my foot as well.  And of course, dealing with the loss of a loved one.My life has been reminiscent of a country song in it's pathetic state.

And, Frankly, my attitude has not been pleasant. I could blame it on how miserable I have felt and the tiredness of feeling miserable months on end, but hello, I live with a Chronic Health Condition, I am frequently miserable, and my day to day health is not that of feeling well but I get by and soldier on. So I really have no one to blame for my crankiness but myself.

I realized I needed an attitude adjustment last week when I was driving back from Sonic. It was warm, like really warm, for the first time in months, I had my windows down, my pink pants on, and was drinking a cherry ice cream slush that matched my said pink pants. As I'm cruising along back to my house, some 12 year old reject from the jersey shore is beside me, bumping his "music" so loudly that my teeth were vibrating. 

That, like everything else, annoyed me. It annoyed me so much that I yelled, while holding my ice cream slush "You are NOT COOL!!!"

And then I realized my windows were down.

And that I looked like a crotchety old lady yelling at a youngster for walking on her grass.

Where are my cane and house slippers?

Thankfully, the aforementioned music was so loud he had no clue about the crazy lady yelling at him. I slunk home in my SUV and realized I needed to do something about my attitude.

I have been complaining and grouching about evvvverything, so much that I am annoying myself. I realized that was the source of my unpleasantness. COMPLAINING. Boy, have I been doing ALOT of it! Maybe not to everyone, but in my mind, I have a constant complaining channel running 24/7 like a live stream of CNN.

I knew exactly what I needed to do, and it's going to be hard, but SO worth it! 

Last year, Pastor Dave challenged us to a 21 day no Complaining Challenge leading up to Easter. I took the challenge, and didn't think I'd make it thru the first two days quite honestly! But I did, and my outlook and ATTITUDE changed so much! So I'm going to do it again, but for longer. That's right, I'm not stopping at Easter, my goal is for the whole month of April (and hopefully longer).

I am going to STOP Complaining for an entire month! And by doing so, by quitting complaining, it's going to be much easier to #ChooseJoy because it's all about your focus and thought pattern. I have not been choosing joy lately, I have been a cranky old lady in my brain, complaining at every little thing. That ends TONIGHT!

As of midnight on April 1st there will be no more complaining coming out of my mouth, and more importantly no complaining in my brain, in my comments to myself that no one else knows. 

If you see me, hear me, read me on social media, you have my permission to say HEY!! 30 Day Challenge Cherrybear! Anytime you hear me complaining! And while you're at it, will you join me in the challenge? It was an amazing journey last year and I am looking forward to doing it again and reaping the benefits of focusing on the good, no matter what!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

#ChooseJoy #JoyGivers365 Weeks 9, 10,11- Losing someone you Love

 I've been MIA on the blog lately. After my last post on my Grams Birthday, Feb 26, she went to be with Jesus on Feb 28, the day after my birthday. My birthday was very painful and difficult. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends who were great to try and keep me occupied and kept me from being alone most of the day.
 When we found out her cancer was back in Jan of 2013, I very clearly heard the voice of the Lord telling me that this is how we would lose her and I needed to prepare myself. It's been my goal thru the past year, especially the final 6 months of her life when she was in such bad shape, to rejoice when she went to be with Jesus. I was not rejoicing very much on my birthday, I can tell you that! Going through the day knowing that she could breathe her final breath at any moment. It was hard. It was really hard. I think having her go by our birthdays, that we had celebrated together every year of my life, was just difficult. Knowing that was coming to an end. On the other hand it does not surprise me that my Grams wanted to go to Heaven for her birthday! Seeing Jesus and my Grandpa is pretty much the greatest birthday ever!
 I got "The Call" right as I was finishing a lesson that Friday night. Instead of sorrow and pain, I actually felt JOY! Please don't read this wrong as I was happy she was gone. I am going to miss her so much! BUT, she has been bedridden for months and months, and in so much pain. She hasn't been able to really live her life. The first words that came to my mind was that she was FREE! Free from the pain and suffering and the cancer that has ravaged her body!

 As I was talking to my Mom on the phone, I realized what was happening! I shouted into the phone (sorry Mom!) DO YOU REALIZE WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW???!!! Grandma just saw Jesus! SHE IS LITERALLY FACE TO FACE WITH HIM RIGHT NOW!!!! Just realizing and imagining that, or trying to, made me want to jump out of my skin in excitement! Can you even think about how awesome that would be?? That got me teary eyed and emotional, just thinking about what was happening in Heaven at that very moment. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about that awesomeness!
After I hung up the phone, I wasn't sure what to do for a second. And then I knew. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I needed to Worship! So I worshiped the best way I know, through music.

I walked over to my Piano and sat down and played the song I was going to perform at her memorial service. "It is well with my Soul" let me tell you by the next to last page of the song I was playing so loud that people in Alaska most likely heard me.

I sat at my Piano and worshiped my face off for a good half hour. I will always treasure those moments. When I just sat down and had some time with my Savior, praising him and putting my focus on him in those moments.

March 9'th we held her Memorial service, all Glory goes to God that I was able to perform "It is well with my Soul" without crying. It was important for me to perform it for two reasons. One, My Grams was the one who started me in Piano lessons. 20 years ago she couldn't take me banging on the piano anymore, and decided I was going to take lessons so I could play properly. Literally without her I would not be who I am today! And Secondly, the words to the song really spoke to how I (wanted to) feel about her passing.

My brother gave the Eulogy, it was beautiful, funny, and so well spoken. I have never been as proud of him as I was at that moment.

So now begins life on earth without her. Grief is a funny thing, it hits when you least expect it. Although I feel Joy that she is finally free from her cancer ridden earthly body, I still miss her. I am reminded of this at unexpected moments. 

A few days ago I was going through all of my birthday and sympathy cards and accidentally opened and read the card she had written days before she passed. I sat at my desk and just cried. It was really, really hard. I had to put it away to save for a later date, just thinking about it now makes me very emotional. I miss her.

Joy comes in as a Christian we know that death is not the end, only the beginning! I am thankful that I will see her again.